The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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May 22, 2013

City forced to cut $1.1M from budget

(Continued)

Graf said on a personal note, she was frustrated with ADM.

“This million dollars is something they sneeze at every five minutes,” she said. “Where is the sense of community? I don’t feel it. I don’t see it.”

Ward 4 Councilman Paul Gassman said part of the reason the city faces the $1.1 million cut is because it planned to have money it had no guarantee of receiving.

“Before it ever happened though, you budgeted with the intent of getting it without really knowing and that’s not right,” Gassman said.

The city will also look at alternative revenue options such as permits, licenses and charges for services as well as other efficiencies that can be found in the general fund in order to make up for the lost tax revenue.

Kinser plans to come back to the Committee of the Whole on June 11 to tell council members what steps the city will need to take to deal with the settlement impact.

The assessment process The property in question was labeled a utility plant in 2008 and was thus exempt from property taxes in 2009. However, City Assessor John Moreland and other city officials protested the tax-exempt designation. In 2010, legislation was passed saying that a co-generation plant would be locally assessed. Moreland conducted that assesment, determining the facility's value at $78 million. In 2011, ADM lobbied for new legislation that would relieve the company of its property tax obligation. They were successful and that ruling applied retroactively to the previous year. On Sept. 30, 2011, a partial property tax settlement was reached, lowering the stipulated value of the co-generation facility from $77 million to about $32 million.

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